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Bloggers Unite: Project IF (Part Two)

342 participants.

Over 500 “what ifs” taken out of people’s hearts and placed on the screen.

It’s a toss-up: it’s incredibly powerful to read the list (and it is still a live and growing list) in one sitting, soaking in all of those huge emotions.  It will change you.  And at the same time, it is so hard to see all of those fears–some of which feel very familiar; some of which are outside my realm of experience–laid bare on the screen.

If someone wants to understand the emotional side of infertility, we just created a very easy door for them to walk through.

Resolve and I started to notice trends (you know…common threads), and we used these trends to determine the What If  lists for this part of the project.  We needed to pick a wide-range of experiences and make sure the “what ifs” were broad enough for a multitude of people to be able to participate.  Even still, we decided to leave an open “what if” question at the end of each category.  If you cannot find a what if below that speaks to your experience, or you are tied to exploring the “what if” you submitted, please take this opportunity to fit your “what if” onto the list (or tweak an existing one).

The second part of this project is simple, and it gives you an easy way to participate in National Infertility Awareness Week (April 24th–May 1st):

  1. Choose one “what if” from the categories below (you may tweak one to fit you better or use the open option at the bottom of each category to state a what if that falls within the boundaries of the category).
  2. Go back to your blog and explore that “what if” in a post.  Expand on the idea, tell a story, write poetry, say it with photographs–any way you want to explore that “what if.”  Posts can go up any time between now and May 1st.  Please start your post by placing your chosen “what if” at the top of the post.
  3. Add a link at the bottom of your post to this url giving a basic understanding of infertility: www.resolve.org/infertility101 and this url giving the background of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW): www.resolve.org/takecharge.* You may also want to point people towards the original “what if” list: http://www.stirrup-queens.com/2010/04/bloggers-unite-project-if/.
  4. End your post with a new, positive “what if“–a best-case-scenario for you personally.  What you hope to see happen–either for yourself or for someone else.
  5. Return here and add a permalink to your post to the Mr. Linky widget at the bottom of this post.  It will then appear as part of this project and all blogs on the list will be considered for Resolve’s Hope Award for Best Blog, presented at the 2010 Night of Hope.  Resolve will also be featuring a link to the blog on Resolve.org.

*This is important because while the first part of this project was fairly insular, read by those within the community, the second part of this project–your blog posts–will be read by a wide range of people including possibly those in law-making positions or the media.  Because they may be reading your post without a basic understanding of infertility or National Infertility Awareness Week, we want to give everyone a quick way to read more.

Even if you didn’t participate in the first part of this project, you are welcome (and encouraged!) to participate now.  Our goal is to get at least 250 participants by the time NIAW ends next week on May 1st.

You do not need to be infertile to participate.  If you want to support a friend or family member and explain how you process one of these “what ifs,” we’d love to have you join the project.

If you don’t have a blog, get creative with your Twitter account, use your Facebook page, or…start a blog (and then send me your blog url so I can add you to the blogroll)!  Blogger and WordPress are both sites that allow people (quite easily) to set up a free blog.  Only blogs written by individuals (not organizations or professionals) will be considered for Resolve’s Hope Award for Best Blog, though any linkable writing (such as a Tweet) can be added to Mr. Linky.

Please help spread word about this project via Twitter, Facebook, or your blog.  Our hashtag is #Project IF.

And make sure you come back and read the posts as they go up on Mr. Linky.  If the “what ifs” themselves were that powerful, I can hardly imagine what can be accomplished with even more words and stories.

Categories and Ideas:

How infertility impacts your relationships—spouse, partner, fertile friends, parents, work.

  • What if despite my ultimate success I never let go of the resentment at and jealousy of the women who got to do this the “normal” way and who never experienced pregnancy loss (from Betty M).
  • What if I can never be around a pregnant woman and feel comfortable because it reminds me of how much I have lost and how inadequate I now feel (from Jodi)?
  • What if my husband leaves me for a fertile woman (from Mad Hatter)?
  • Create Your Own.

How infertility impacts your self-esteem.

  • What if I always feel like less of a person because I wasn’t able to reproduce (from Brandy)?
  • What if I can never get over the feeling that my body has failed me (from Staciet)?
  • What if I lose myself along the way? I’ve lost so much during this roller coaster journey — what if I lose the true me somewhere along the road? What if I turn into someone I never wanted to be? What happens then (from JL)?
  • What if my infertility has robbed me of my sexiness and I never am “in the mood” again (from Nolagirl)?
  • Create Your Own.

How infertility impacts your emotional health.

  • What if I am never able to counter the thought “I had to buy a baby?” What if that doesn’t make me a real mother, in my eyes, or in anyone else’s (from Cherry)?
  • What if I can never just be happy with what I have and stop being angry, bitter, and sad about what I do not (from Cathy)?
  • What if I have to learn to live childfree with a smile….forever (from Mrs. A)?
  • Create Your Own.

How infertility impacts your finances.

  • What if every state passed a law that would require insurance companies to cover fertility treatments and A.R.T. so that people like me and my husband wouldn’t have to choose between their mortgage or having a family (from Melissa G)?
  • What if I leave this job, with its amazing health insurance that covers everything IF-related, and my new job doesn’t have insurance with good IF coverage (from Queenie)?
  • What if we finally save the money we need, blow it on IVF, and fail (from Wifey)?
  • Create Your Own.

How infertility impacted your “plans”/current choices/future decisions.

  • What if I didn’t live in a time and place where ART was an option (from it is what it is)?
  • What if I never get to do all the things I’ve put on hold in my life for “once I get pregnant…” (from CortneyTree)?
  • What if I never see that plus sign? What if this is it, waiting and hoping for the rest of my life (from Hollytraveling)?
  • What if my son ends up hating me because he was conceived through DI? What if all we’ve gone through to have him and to bring us so much happiness ends up bringing him enormous pain (from Annacylopedia)?
  • Create Your Own.

Project IF Participants

Exploring Our What Ifs

167 comments

1 susy { 04.21.10 at 8:11 am }

This is going to hard — hard to read and get through, when I get a knot in my throat from just reading the what if list! But I think it’s a great way to get awareness out there, especially w/ Resolve and NIAW!

2 Kaitlin { 04.21.10 at 9:34 am }

I agree – this will be tough. I’m not personally struggling with infertility and I even had a hard time getting through the what-ifs without getting goose bumps!

3 Miriam { 04.21.10 at 10:17 am }

Wow. I had an inkling of how this project might go into phase two, but I’m still not prepared for the rawness of the emotion this is going to bring up. How exciting Melissa- thanks so much for working with RESOLVE to help give the ALI community a voice and a face.
~Miriam (ICLW #1)

4 Nikki { 04.21.10 at 11:09 am }

This is a wonderful idea and I am so happy to have the opportunitiy to participate!

5 spyderkl { 04.21.10 at 11:40 am }

I thought I’d give this a try, since I could have written at least 2 of the What ifs. I’ll start writing and see how far I get. Thanks so much for doing this, Melissa.

6 Mrs. Gamgee { 04.21.10 at 12:32 pm }

As hard as this could be, I love this project Mel. I am eager to see how it plays out.

7 wifey { 04.21.10 at 12:46 pm }

working on my post now….. this is such a wonderful project.

8 Nolagirl { 04.21.10 at 1:14 pm }

I don’t have a blog. But I want to give a shout out to those that do. Your voices will help all of us! I plan on donating my Facebook status to my “What IF” of choice.

9 christine { 04.21.10 at 2:49 pm }

so thankful for this support! so thankful for this idea! and, so thankful to know I am not alone in my “what ifs”!

10 Lisa { 04.21.10 at 2:54 pm }

Glad I had the chance to participate. It was cathartic to write that out.

11 Fingers Crossed { 04.21.10 at 3:21 pm }

Wow – what an incredible idea! I am not classified as IF yet – but I am still dealing with struggles, I feel like I don’t belong anywhere just yet.

12 Katie { 04.21.10 at 3:49 pm }

This is an amazing idea, Mel. I am so glad I had the chance to write and share my what ifs. Thank you for all that you do for this community!

13 Cathy { 04.21.10 at 4:38 pm }

Thanks for doing this. It felt good to get some of that stuff out, since I usually let it fall to the wayside.

14 Melissa G. { 04.21.10 at 4:47 pm }

Mel I continue to be in awe of your visions and the community you cultivate.

I can’t wait to work on my post.

15 Busted Kate { 04.21.10 at 7:47 pm }

Hey Mel, I’m here all the time anyways but today its specifically for ICLW… happy ICLW!!

I will definitely be participating in this, its a great idea and I’m so glad you’re helping folks share. As always, you’re amazing!

16 Lynn { 04.21.10 at 8:49 pm }

Mel, this is such an awesome project! I will have to work on mine for a few days. I want to get it just right so that it really expresses exactly what I feel.

17 Calliope { 04.21.10 at 10:59 pm }

wow- I LOVE this project. It’s like a quilt of experiences. I knew immediately which “what if” spoke to me because as soon as I read it I started to cry. And oddly not just because it is a hard topic (because of course it is) but because it was a bit of a comfort to see that another woman had the same fear that I do.

18 Mad Hatter { 04.22.10 at 12:08 am }

Thank you, Mel, for taking all of our lonely, single voices and turning them into a choir.
Love,
Maddy

19 spyderkl { 04.22.10 at 11:47 am }

Well, it’s done. Thank you again for doing this, Mel. I’ve got to say this was one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written, but I’m glad I did.

20 Tami { 04.22.10 at 9:09 pm }

I wrote, it might not be the best, but I thought I would try to get involved. :)

21 Amanda { 04.22.10 at 10:00 pm }

Wow, when I started writing, it literally just started flowing out of me though I’m sure my isn’t as good as some others. *blush* Thanks for allowing me to participate though. Off to read other’s stories! :)

22 Shelli { 04.23.10 at 9:55 am }

Ironically, this project coincides with a personal breakthrough. Thank you Mel, for always working so hard to ensure our voices are heard. xo

23 Katie { 04.23.10 at 12:27 pm }

Writing this was so good for me on so many levels. I’m glad I’m participating.

24 Jessica { 04.23.10 at 2:22 pm }

This was tough, but worthwhile for my heart.

25 Laura { 04.23.10 at 6:45 pm }

This is the first time that I have posted and then made other people aware of my blog. It’s really the first time that I have out to words what I’m feeling about starting my journey to become a mom, thanks for creating this place to share!

26 StolenEggs { 04.23.10 at 9:28 pm }

I don’t know if anyone else will get anything out of what I wrote but there it is.

27 Rachel { 04.23.10 at 9:43 pm }

I’m not infertile, never tried to have kids. But this is something that people don’t usually know about unless they or someone they’re close to has gone through it. Or unless they’ve stumbled across a book or blog somewhere and gotten pulled into the story.

No, I haven’t been through this, but maybe I can help someone who is by pointing the way here. The more you know about a topic, the better you can deal with it (in yourself, a friend, family, coworker, who/wherever).

So that’s why I wrote my “if”.

28 Rebecca { 04.24.10 at 12:08 am }

Thank you for this project, it was great to release some of those feelings. I’ve enjoyed reading other Project IF posts & wow they are so powerful!

29 Jesi { 04.24.10 at 11:45 am }

I started with one blog and then had to start over. This project has made me shift my strategy with trying to defeat infertility. I want to come from a place of being empowered not from a place of being a victim and I didn’t “get it” until I did this, so thank you Mel…. I had a huge “A-HA” moment…. infertility better watch out, coz here I come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

30 Christy { 04.24.10 at 12:43 pm }

I wish that I was a better writer but I tried to make the answer cohesive. This idea is awesome though!

31 luna { 04.24.10 at 2:50 pm }

what a wonderful project! thanks once again for bringing this community together, mel. my contribution is linked above: http://lifefromhere.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/what-if/

32 S.I.F. { 04.24.10 at 8:16 pm }

Writing that all out sucked the life out of me a bit… I think I’m going to be drained for a week….

33 Hollytraveling { 04.24.10 at 10:29 pm }

Thank you for the opportunity to do this. It will be amazing to read all of these stories. I’m sure I will shed many tears but I will come away feeling more hopeful and not alone than ever.

34 Kim { 04.25.10 at 12:30 am }

Thank you for hosting this….what a great way to have us all get involved. I appreciate the opportunity .

35 Half of a Duo, Raising a Duo { 04.25.10 at 11:23 am }

This is going to be easy for me. My What If would be this.

I will expand on this in my next blog entry. My last blog entry, a coblog entry with our potential birthmother, K, about our son who passed away 36 hours after birth, took so much out of me I can’t write right now.

But here is what I will write about. Thank you for provoking these thoughts in my head, that have already been brewing.

What if I had not had to depend on another woman, whose pain of giving up a child, was my gain and supposed joy. Note I wrote supposed joy. While I am joyful because after 2 decades I am finally a mother, at what cost was offset by pain of our surrogate? Or, had we adopted, the pain our potential birthmother may have experienced had little J still lived.

There is pain and if you truly are empathetic to the duality of alternative family building you cannot help but be haunted by this duality. Even though K and I co-blog and love each other, we both bear pain over his loss, and if little J were still living, who knows how K would feel down the road, with J and us together and she and her children watching and participating in our lives but perhaps not as fully as if she were parenting J. The same goes for our traditional surrogate.. Thanks Mel. Really you provoke a lot of thought for me to write on my blog so my kids know how I am thinking and feeling.

My first thought when the boys were born, due to the reaction of my surro and her DH was “What have we DONE?” (meaning, to hurt her, though the children are equally my DH’s and his biosons). I could not help but think that, as a compassionate woman. She was never a means to an end and neither was K.

I bet that blog entry will resonate to those who have had to resort to ED/adoption or traditional surrogacy or fost/adopt.

Hugs to you. I have gone through hell and back in the past 5 mos, stopped blogging but taken it back up with a vengeance, with you on my mind, and your grandma… your losses are our community’s losses, Mel.

The grey lady

36 Geochick { 04.25.10 at 11:04 pm }

Thanks for hosting this project. It’s therapeutic.

37 Pamela { 04.26.10 at 12:04 am }

Brilliant — so powerful…

38 Laura { 04.26.10 at 9:36 am }

Brilliant idea.. I cried writing mine.. and I cry reading the others… The IF journey is not a simple one…

39 Sass { 04.26.10 at 10:28 am }

Thank you for hosting such a brilliant project.

40 Miriam (Keiko!) { 04.26.10 at 11:04 am }

Now that I’ve posted my project, I feel so liberated, like I just let go so much of the baggage and crap that I’ve been holding onto for over a year. Thank you so much for working with RESOLVE to bring us such an amazing project.

~Keiko (b/c I’m not hiding behind my bloggy pseudonym anymore.)

41 Jenni { 04.26.10 at 1:18 pm }

Now that I’ve written mine, it’s going to be a while before I’m ready to read the other posts. I think this was a great idea, and I’m glad I participated.

42 Just Me { 04.26.10 at 1:40 pm }

I posted too. I posted a question that was not on your list, but easily fits into the first category… it’s one that’s been on my mind quite a bit, and I’m sure other couples dealing with IF often wonder as well. “What IF our infertility journey drives a wedge between my husband and I from which we can not recover?”

Thanks, Mel, for doing this and all the other amazing things you do for the IF community. :)

43 Heather { 04.26.10 at 3:24 pm }

I’ve been bawling and shaking since I hit “Post”…the lovely women I have “met”—the loving comments—the support. I wonder now why I was so afraid to put myself out there. I mean, I put my self out there often, but this is REALLY out there.

And, I love you. I love what you are doing for IF and for the world…and I wish more people had such good hearts. I want to grow up and be just like you. ;)

44 Adoptive Momma of Two { 04.26.10 at 3:29 pm }

I have participated in Project IF. I answered the questions What if I am never able to counter the thought “I had to buy a baby?” What if that doesn’t make me a real mother, in my eyes, or in anyone else’s (from Cherry)?

45 Kai { 04.26.10 at 3:34 pm }

I read this via another freind’s blog – and wanted to comment.
In 2009, for the Nanowrimo, I wrote a book/project called ‘Changes’. It started with some of those ‘what if’ questions and was really very poigniant to write and is currently under edits.
It’s a hard question to answer, but I’m always amazed by the grace of the community – no matter how tough things are. I’m not quite at that point yet, but we’ve had some issues so far, so I’m slowly finding places to read up on what our next steps are – so I just wanted to say ‘thank you’.

46 kathleen { 04.26.10 at 6:37 pm }

It is both sad and empowering to see all of these women and their partners affected by this life-changing journey in their lives. But I hope that this gathering will strengthen everyone as they continue forward!! Thank you for doing this!

47 lis { 04.26.10 at 6:41 pm }

not my most brilliant post yet, but surely one of the most heartfelt..
love to all y’all in da struggle

http://www.builtinbirthcontrol.com/2010/04/what-if.html

48 Kate { 04.26.10 at 7:50 pm }

just posted my “what if.” i’ve been anxious to share my blog with folks, because it is so personal and i know others have been dealing with things longer than i have, but reading other blogs have helped me. and i hope mine helps some of you!

49 Kate { 04.26.10 at 7:51 pm }

just posted my “what if.” i’ve been anxious to share my blog with folks, because it is so personal and i know others have been dealing with things longer than i have, but reading other blogs have helped me. and i hope mine helps some of you!

50 Amy { 04.26.10 at 8:41 pm }

Can someone please please please delete #49 (Amy)—it’s the wrong link, the #50 one is correct. Im so sorry, Im a blogging newbie.

51 loribeth { 04.26.10 at 9:03 pm }

My post is longwinded (as usual), but I got a LOT off my chest in writing it!! Thank you, Mel!

52 CortneyTree { 04.26.10 at 9:57 pm }

Whew, I had a lot more to say than I realized…I’m so proud to be part of this project, can’t wait to read the posts!

53 Molly { 04.26.10 at 10:15 pm }

I am not a blogger, so I’m not sure how my comments fit into this project.

I keep thinking what if my husband still is not amenable to IVF although that is the only way we can achieve a pregnancy due to severe MFI and Y chromosome microsome deletion. My choices are equally heinous and there is no good possible outcome. Either I compromise on what a major life goal, to grow and raise a family, and remain married to him. Alternative B is to have the courage to end the relationship, as painful as that will be, in the hopes that I am still young and fertile enough to greive this loss, meet someone who shares my dream of parenting and have a child before my biological clock has its last tick. These “what ifs” keep me up at night are the anxiety of not knowing what will or might happen in the future are preventing me from enjoying life now. I can be distracted and focused on an activity with which I am engaged, but deep, heart-felt happiness is not something I have felt for a while.

54 nycphoenix { 04.26.10 at 10:16 pm }

Wow that was intense but thanks for the opportunity

55 Lindsay { 04.26.10 at 10:27 pm }

I love this idea! It helps me and others understand the emotions of infertility.

56 JL { 04.26.10 at 10:31 pm }

This is such a powerful project! I have enjoyed reading all the responses and see so much of my thoughts, feelings, fears and hopes in every post — it’s amazing to feel less lonely, but at the same time, it hurts to know so many people are hurting just like me.

57 Ceejay { 04.27.10 at 12:29 am }

It’s amazing how writing my what-if post really helped me to understand more what I’m really fearing in this process and what I don’t like about that fear. Thanks for the opportunity to delve into myself in that way.

58 Emily (Apron Strings) { 04.27.10 at 12:37 am }

I think I just relived the pasted 13 years of my life in this one post … Thanks for doing this, Mel. I’m at the point where I think I finally appreciate where I’m at in my life … and where I came from. xoxo, Em

59 mash { 04.27.10 at 8:41 am }

I just want to mention (ever the IT girl) that the links don’t work:
http://www.resolve.org/infertility101
http://www.resolve.org/takecharge

Not sure if it is only an issue for those of us that are overseas?

60 Jeannine { 04.27.10 at 9:44 am }

Thank you for this! ;-)

61 Kristy Plaskett { 04.27.10 at 9:51 am }

Thank you for this project! My husband and I have struggled with infertility for 5 years now, and we have felt very alone in dealing with this. It’s nice to read all of the comments, and feel for the first time that I am not alone in this!

62 mrs. r { 04.27.10 at 11:01 am }

what an incredible exercise in metacognition! thank you for the prompts! i have encouraged my blog readers to join in also. so healing. so helpful!

xoxo

63 Amy { 04.27.10 at 11:22 am }

This is a great project. Thank you so much for doing this!

64 Banksybaby { 04.27.10 at 12:13 pm }

What a relief to have this out. Thank you for allowing me this catharsis this morning. All of you amazing women…I thank you for sharing your struggle. We have each other in this crazy process and it’s such a blessing to not feel alone.

65 Suzanne (Green-Eyed Monster) { 04.27.10 at 2:00 pm }

I love this project! I wish I would have known about this site when I first started going through infertility. What a difference it would have made on my journey…

66 nh { 04.27.10 at 4:15 pm }

Such a tough task, because I wanted to answer so many what if’s. Thank you for your hard work!

67 Sonja { 04.27.10 at 4:59 pm }

I got a lot of much needed tears and also some laughs out of my post. It drained me, but it was worth it.

68 AmyLynn { 04.27.10 at 5:02 pm }

This was a great project. Thank you for letting me be a part of it.

69 Genevieve { 04.27.10 at 5:44 pm }

This was incredibly difficult. Perhaps not my best work…but I did it. I faced a fear. And admitted something I’d been trying to avoid.

70 Unwavering Hope { 04.27.10 at 6:08 pm }

This was difficult to do b/c its the fears and thoughts you don’t allow yourself to say out loud. You find yourself facing your worst fears and worries….it’s not easy. Thank you for giving a voice to so many of us out there. I feel more and more that I am not alone.

71 nina { 04.27.10 at 7:27 pm }

what a great way to reach out about IF. love it!

72 Aunt L { 04.27.10 at 7:42 pm }

Wonderful project! Thank you all for putting everything out there allowing others to learn and be comforted.

73 kathleen { 04.27.10 at 10:01 pm }

my comment is #45… see that one :-)

74 TwoDogMama { 04.27.10 at 11:28 pm }

This post was very hard, but so great. I loved reading everyone else’s links as well. It gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. It is wonderful to have the support of a website like this from the fabulous Mel and Resolve. Many, many, many kudos to both.

75 Kim777 { 04.27.10 at 11:29 pm }

What a fantastic project! Thanks so much for putting this together. I am honored to have the opportunity to participate.

76 Kim777 { 04.27.10 at 11:30 pm }

What a fantastic project! Thanks so much for putting this together. I am honored to have the opportunity to participate. (Sorry for the double comment. Linked the wrong blog url above. :)

77 Katy { 04.27.10 at 11:42 pm }

I love this idea! It’s been extremely helpful to see I’m not the “only one” struggling with this journey.

78 Jonelle { 04.28.10 at 1:25 am }

Thanks Mel, for providing an outlet to vent the “What IFs”, put a positive spin on it, and educate others of our struggles. I choose mine from the “How infertility impacts your emotional health” and created my own ‘what if’. Thank you so much for doing this.

79 Jonelle { 04.28.10 at 1:27 am }

Okay my previous comment got lost. Thanks for allowing us to vent the ‘What IFs’, put a positive spin on it and end up educating others. Thanks for doing this, Melissa.

80 Julie { 04.28.10 at 11:52 am }

These posts are knocking me flat. I’m all shivery. Added my own.

81 Julie H { 04.28.10 at 12:03 pm }

Great project! It has helped me to realize how far I have come in our journey and how so much pain turned into so much joy!

82 Shelby { 04.28.10 at 1:37 pm }

What a fantastic project and writing it really made me clarify to myself what was already hanging out and lingering in the back of my thoughts.

83 Shelby { 04.28.10 at 1:45 pm }

Hmmm…I don’t think my last comment posted and if it did…sorry for the duplicate(you can delete this one if it is a repeat!)!

Anyhow, this is one might fine project that definitely got me finally combing through some of the thoughts I’ve had in the back of my brain lately. Thanks for being such a fantastic spokeswoman!

84 Jill { 04.28.10 at 1:45 pm }

This is so overwhelming. So many emotions flood when having to talk about this in the true “raw” form (as many have said). It’s perfect and terrifying all at the same time. Working on my blog post as we speak…

Thank you!

85 serenity { 04.28.10 at 3:04 pm }

Mine’s up too.

86 Wendryn { 04.28.10 at 3:10 pm }

My experience with infertility is short, compared to many, but no matter who is dealing with it, it is never easy.

It’s amazing reading the stories of so many other people. It makes it a little easier to bear.

87 Em { 04.28.10 at 4:48 pm }

Like many of us these themes resonated for me…

88 Abbie { 04.28.10 at 5:21 pm }

Thanks for the opportunity to share my story and help spread the word about infertility! It’s amazing how uneducated the general population is and even a lot of Ob/Gyns are!

89 Katie (After a Loss) { 04.28.10 at 5:59 pm }

I didn’t realize how much I needed to get out about this. My post ended up being way longer than I thought! Thanks for letting all of us share our stories!

90 S { 04.28.10 at 6:06 pm }

Mine will be up on May 1st.

91 Wendy { 04.28.10 at 7:45 pm }

I’m so glad you are doing this.
Thank you.

92 Bree { 04.28.10 at 8:47 pm }

I finally posted mine, after typing/deleting/overthinking/underthinking for almost a week. This was difficult and cathartic and I thank you for creating this forum.

93 Mrs. Hope { 04.28.10 at 9:25 pm }

Coming off hiatus for this. What if?

94 Erika { 04.28.10 at 9:30 pm }

This is absolutely amazing. I hope it makes a difference to the outside world. But regardless, amazing!

95 Amanda { 04.28.10 at 11:28 pm }

I finished my post. I feel so much better now that I’ve gotten all of that off my shoulders.

96 Faith { 04.29.10 at 12:19 am }

I struggled with this, as I have SO many “what IFs” to share, but I chose just one:). Thank you for doing this. What a wonderful opportunity to both work through some feelings AND advocate for the cause. THANK YOU!

97 Mrs.Tiye { 04.29.10 at 2:44 am }

This was such a good idea, and one that I struggled with participating in because I was a bit emotional about it, but I’m glad I did, and glad I could put a larger face on what my struggle might mean.

98 Adrienne { 04.29.10 at 2:56 am }

Thank you for giving us a place to share are voices! It’s so refreshing to know we are not alone.

99 Kir { 04.29.10 at 10:59 am }

I am reading as many as I can, and I have to say , they are flooring me. I haven’t had dry eyes since Tuesday. Thank you…all of you , for sharing these stories.
Mine is also up.

100 Sayers Journey { 04.29.10 at 11:17 am }

What a wonderful way to spread the word. It was really great to go back and explore those feelings I had while in the middle of IF, and even though we have been blessed with a child it has been interesting to see if those feelings are still there. I can’t wait to read some other posts!

101 Heather { 04.29.10 at 2:12 pm }

I finally managed to get my post up…not what I originally wanted to talk about but that is just too raw right now.

102 serenity { 04.29.10 at 3:41 pm }

So I split my posts into two. Part II is up now, too.

103 The Life of a Husband and a Wife { 04.29.10 at 4:22 pm }

Its taken me almost all week to write this. I went back and forth about doing it, but in the end I knew putting it out there was the right thing to do. To help others. To let other ‘newbies’ like me know they aren’t alone. Finding this amazing community has been a Godsend to me.

104 Lut C. { 04.29.10 at 4:58 pm }

I prefer not to draw attention on myself from the world outside our community, but I decided to risk it. I’m certainly not showing myself from my best side.

105 AmandaMqn { 04.29.10 at 6:11 pm }

This was a very healing blog to write. It took me all week to write it but I think it’s my favorite post yet!

106 andrea { 04.29.10 at 6:23 pm }

The sound of voices is getting loud. It’s breathtaking! thank you!!!

107 Krista { 04.29.10 at 6:45 pm }

Here’s my addition. I look forward to seeing what comes of all this. Words can be very powerful.

108 Jodi { 04.29.10 at 7:49 pm }

First off, thank you for choosing my question to be a part of this very special project. I was so surprised to see my name up above!

I added my entry, and in doing so realized that I cannot answer my own question…but I explained it as best as I could!

109 Rita Danielle { 04.29.10 at 9:21 pm }

This also took me a while to write partially because I was afraid to revisit those emotions and partially because I knew not all of my blog readers would be comfortable with the fact that I’m still jealous of their natural fertility. I’m glad I wrote what I did (although I’ll probably refine it several more times). Thanks for giving me the opportunity to write about this!

110 Katie Z. { 04.29.10 at 9:39 pm }

I have never made my blog public. Only a few close friends and family know what we are going through. What an amazing way to help us all connect. We finally have a voice. Thank you!

111 Chelle { 04.30.10 at 12:01 am }

I thought I was going to pull out of this project after speaking to the doctors at the Mayo Clinic, but over the past week, I have realized my chances of my “what if” are still very real. They are still there, they just aren’t as likely as I had been lead to believe. As such, I decided to explore my “what if” after all. It is sad that my infertility made this an issue for me at all.

112 lucy { 04.30.10 at 2:13 am }

What if all the vitamins, herbal, accupunture, fertility yoga, bushflower essences, special diet, treatments, costs and all the going without this that and the other led to me falling pregnant now?
What if I hadn’t waited until my age was to much for it to happen? Would I still feel this jealousy of my nephew because they accidentally are having a child?
What if we went for adoption but it’s too late, we’re too old, and there’s no children available for us? Would that change how I hate the woman who has an abortion just because it’s the wrong time for her?
What if, just for today to start, I’d don’t give up and I truly believe that I will have a child of my own? Would that change the gut wrenching feeling everytime I see another child or see a pregnant mom to be?
I’m not this person this has made me become. I want my happiness back. I’m a good person and I hate feeling this much pain and jealousy towards others because they just don’t understand how damn lucky they are.

113 Mrs.Tiye { 04.30.10 at 5:48 am }

The reflection brought about this NIAW has been addictive and therapeutic. I know the project is to help educate the world outside of Infertility, but my goodness it has had an amazingly comforting affect for those of us in it to see so many others.

114 Manapan { 04.30.10 at 5:55 am }

Damn, but that was hard to write. I’m usually a stream-of-consciousness writer, but I started, stopped, deleted, and rewrote that post so many times I lost count (which is an incredible feat for someone with OCD!). But I’m glad I did it.

115 Turia { 04.30.10 at 8:54 am }

Thank you, Mel, for this project. My ‘what if?’ is now up.

116 Bea { 04.30.10 at 9:41 am }

Well, it’s nearly midnight on the closing day, and I have to get up early tomorrow to go to work, and I have a long night of sick-child-induced wakeups ahead of me, but I have done it, and when I’m desperately chugging caffeine tomorrow in a vain attempt to avoid getting sued or fired for not doing my job properly, I will still be glad I did. I think. Well, after 10am I will be glad, anyway, and before ten shouldn’t really ever count for a non-morning person such as myself.

Bea

117 Mrs. A { 04.30.10 at 9:58 am }

I am so glad I could squeak in before the time period closed! This is an amazing project- thanks for organizing it!

118 Lucy { 04.30.10 at 10:05 am }

Really enjoyed reading posts on this project, and participating!

119 Amy { 04.30.10 at 10:53 am }

Great project!

120 m. { 04.30.10 at 11:18 am }

um, that was hard.

121 Rowan { 04.30.10 at 11:26 am }

I’ve added my “what if” post to the list, although I’m not sure what category it falls under — “What if more fertility doctors knew about Celiac?”.

122 Nichole { 04.30.10 at 11:29 am }

I finally had the guts to write mine…. :-)

123 wifey { 04.30.10 at 12:17 pm }

I am so glad to have been able to participate in this.

124 Half of a Duo, Raising a Duo { 04.30.10 at 12:18 pm }

I already commented and man was that a brutal, brutal, brutal entry on my heart. Totally brutal. Thanks for provoking thought, Mel. I wrote it for the Duo.

http://www.halfofaduoraisingaduo.com/2010/04/never-means-to-end-mels-project-what-if.html

125 CC { 04.30.10 at 12:59 pm }

These posts are amazing! I cried all through the original list of What IF’s. Such raw and honest emotions. We all live in fear of the What IF’s coming true.

126 JessPond { 04.30.10 at 1:34 pm }

Fine Mel! Just this time though! :)

127 Deborah { 04.30.10 at 1:51 pm }

Thanks for making me think. It’s not the results I expected but I am very happy with them nonetheless.

128 DCPatient { 04.30.10 at 2:41 pm }

What if . . . it was all worth it! :)

129 Peace B.E.G.A.N { 04.30.10 at 2:56 pm }

Thank you so much for your help in bringing light to NIAW!!

130 Nicole { 04.30.10 at 3:22 pm }

A bit late, but still here!

131 mybumpyjourney { 04.30.10 at 3:42 pm }

This is awesome Mel. You astound me.
What IF every 1 in 8 couples affected by IF stood and demanded to be heard?!?!?!?
How we could change this country…and the world.

132 Tammy { 04.30.10 at 4:39 pm }

I finally did it. Didn’t want to, but did anyway. And feel better, more hopeful for saying it out loud. Thanks again Mel, for all you do!

133 Kristy { 04.30.10 at 5:17 pm }

Love love love it.

134 Bleu { 04.30.10 at 7:57 pm }

Sorry this has taken me so long. Things are hectic getting ready for the naming ceremony. I hope it is ok and I am so in awe of all you do for all of us.

Much much love Mel.

135 IF Crossroads { 04.30.10 at 8:00 pm }

It took me all week to do this and I still felt that I could do a better job. … probably the most difficult blog post that I’ve ever written. How do you sum up the entire experience in just one post? It feels impossible.

136 Lani { 04.30.10 at 8:16 pm }

I think I’ve been in denial that I’m part of this community now. It is important for me to embrace it since I’m in the middle of my first IVF cycle after months of other fertility treatments that didn’t work. And especially after losing my newborn son Silas 17 months ago after what seemed like an easy conception. I am anxious to get my very important words down. thank you for this opportunity.

137 My Reality { 04.30.10 at 10:02 pm }

It doesn’t seem to matter where you are in your journey – the beginning, the middle or the end – so many of the feelings are all the same.

138 Mel { 04.30.10 at 10:02 pm }

You are doing such a great job Mel!! Thanks for all you do… I’m only in the beginning of the IF journey, but appreciate your website and all that you do. Thanks!

139 Lindsey { 04.30.10 at 10:33 pm }

Two girls later, I don’t think about IF in the same way I used to, but I will forever have the heart for it.
Thank you for this opportunity for me to recognize our community’s effort to increase awareness. You are an amazing contributor!
(Used to blog at This Side of Pregnant.blogspot.com)

140 Queenie { 04.30.10 at 11:21 pm }

Aww. . .thanks for including me. And thanks for all you do. I felt so inspired, reading your post about your visit to the Hill.

141 Birds and Squirrels { 05.01.10 at 12:05 am }

I finally added mine as well. Thank you Mel for doing everything that you do to organize this community!

142 Hannah { 05.01.10 at 12:25 am }

I put this off all week, but after seeing Keiko’s video I decided I had to particpate. It was both easier and harder than I thought it was going to be. Thank your for representing us so well.

143 Summer { 05.01.10 at 12:46 am }

What an amazing group that has gathered here! I was inspired by what I read to add my own what if.

144 staciet { 05.01.10 at 3:51 am }

Thank you for allowing me to participate in such and amazing effort. While I have to admit that I found writing this post incredibly difficult (I even had to stop and have a good cry half way through), I am so glad that I did it.

Thanks again, Mel, for all of the things you do for the ALI community. Where would we be without you? :-)

145 myinfertilitywoes { 05.01.10 at 10:19 am }

Oh, my. That was hard. And I put it off till the very last day.

But, THANK YOU, Mel and the larger community for all that you do. It was the least I could do to help contribute to this.

146 Elizabeth { 05.01.10 at 11:17 am }

I squeaked in under the deadline. I don’t think my What If is super profound, but it is something I think about.

Thank you, Mel, for all you do.

147 Al { 05.01.10 at 12:28 pm }

That was probably the hardest post I’ve ever written and I don’t think I did the project justice.

Thanks for doing this and I hope your vision has become a reality. The IF community is amazing.

148 Missy { 05.01.10 at 1:12 pm }

This was a hard post to write. Facing our deepest fears is hard work.

149 Jamie { 05.01.10 at 1:56 pm }

Yikes!!!! So, many “What IFs” HOW AMAZING we can bond together and realize that I am not the only one thinking ” What IF.”

150 Road Blocks and Roller Coasters { 05.01.10 at 2:31 pm }

I loved this! What a wonderful project!

151 claire { 05.01.10 at 3:21 pm }

Wow – I did it! Amazed myself. And so did my subconscious, which was obviously chewing on this when I wasn’t paying attention!
Thanks for doing this, Melissa!

152 Kim { 05.01.10 at 5:09 pm }

It was an interesting day to write my What IFs given the positive tests we’re seeing. I’m glad I put the words down in print, though.

153 Battynurse { 05.01.10 at 5:51 pm }

Mine is up. Finally. And wow do I feel like I just opened up an old scar. I’m also struggling so much with wanting to post the link to this post on my facebook page, to get this message out there even more. But I have a lot of reletives on facebook who aren’t aware of my blog and I don’t know if I’m ready to out myself to them yet.

154 celia { 05.01.10 at 6:04 pm }

Here I am, I almost missed this. Yikes.

155 Em @ The Chapman Nest { 05.01.10 at 6:15 pm }

I wrote a post… Its not the best by any means.

I hope I did it right. :)

156 JourneyGirl { 05.01.10 at 8:31 pm }

It felt good to write the post. Thanks for doing this project – it is so important to our community.

157 Dandle Dreams { 05.01.10 at 9:16 pm }

Mel, I am delurking to support you on Project IF. I bought your book before our first consultation with an RE, and as our story folded I found myself reaching for it time and time again. There you were, with words of wisdom about emotions, consultations, laparoscopies, medications, and procedures. You are indeed the hub of the international infertile community. Thank-you for bringing us all together, and working so tirelessly on our behalf.

158 Kim { 05.01.10 at 10:02 pm }

Thanks for letting me participate in this.

159 Katie { 05.01.10 at 10:23 pm }

I can’t wait to read all of the other entries. Just when I think this community can’t get any better. . . it. so. does.

160 jaymee { 05.02.10 at 12:06 am }

4 minutes late! but here is the fruits of me putting things off.

http://babygiddings.blogspot.com/2010/05/what-ifs.html

161 annacyclopedia { 05.02.10 at 12:12 am }

I know I’m late, but it’s still May 1 where I am!

Thank you, Mel, as always – for your brilliant ideas to build strength and solidarity within the ALI community, and also to build understanding and compassion outside of it. I am so grateful for your presence and your energy to change the world by being the change you want to see. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

162 Kymberli { 05.02.10 at 1:32 am }

I know I’m submitting past the deadline. It’s been a *very* tough couple of days and my What IF post had to be put on the backburner as, Frank and I have been dealing with the tragic loss of a dear friend. This post was harder to write than I thought it would be, especially because I’ve been having difficulties writing *anything.* I paced in front of a blinking cursor all day and had to stop several times once I started. Now that it’s written, I’m glad that it’s done. Maybe now that I’ve unplugged, I’ll be able to write again.

Thank you, Mel, for coordinating this. Reading through the posts has helped recenter me, as I’ve been feeling somewhat unbalanced and misplaced lately. Keiko’s video especially reminded me why I’m doing this…and also why I have to keep trying.

Thank you for being the gateway, Mel.

163 MLee { 05.02.10 at 9:55 pm }

Thanks for opening the doors for families to discuss the challenges relating to infertility. Keep up the good work. I was a day late in my submission but I’d like to share my expression of what if…www.ttcsweetpea.blogspot.com

164 K77 { 05.05.10 at 8:12 am }

Submitting past the deadline, couldn’t see the Mr Linky thing.

http://sacredandscarred.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/what-if/

165 Hannah { 05.09.10 at 4:45 am }

Ditto K77 – Am submitting past the deadline, and couldn’t find Mr. Linky. I LOVE the idea of what you’re doing and the depth everyone has shared is simply breathtaking.

My url is: http://hannahssong.blogspot.com/2010/05/what-if.html

166 Alisa { 05.11.10 at 10:44 am }

A belated What IF.

Thank you for this opportunity!

167 Jessika { 04.25.11 at 8:04 pm }

I want to say this is wonderful. I did participate, but my journal is private. It was so therapeutic to get it out, to turn the negative and start thinking about the positives the future may hold. Thank you. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I may have finally been able to let go of the pain that has been weighing me down for years. ♥

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